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Strategies to Sharpen Your Entrepreneurial Decision-Making — Entrepreneur Tools #9




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This blog post first appeared first on old medium publication (https://medium.com/startuprad-io), and was moved to this blog with the relaunch of our website in summer 2024.

Executive Summary


In this episode of Startuprad.io, host Jörn “Joe” Menninger and guest Silke Glaab, a leadership and executive coach, delve into the psychological aspects of entrepreneurship. They discuss strategies for managing stress and workload, such as agile management with Trello, virtual assistants, and prioritization techniques. Silke advises on avoiding cognitive biases in decision-making and the importance of market feedback. They also explore mental and physical health practices for entrepreneurs, including exercise, nutrition, socializing, and sleep optimization, providing tips and tools to maintain balance. The episode underscores the significance of mindset and structured work habits for entrepreneurial success.

Maximizing Productivity as an Entrepreneur: “I started that maybe half a year ago that I allocate time for myself, and I know during this time, I set an alarm, 90 minutes. I have my 90 minute sprint. Sometimes I take 2 hours because it takes a little bit time to come into it. But in this time, I don’t do anything else.” — Silke Glaab — Leadership and Executive Coach

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Effective Team Meetings: “Everybody briefly reports on what they’re working on and where there may be some hindrances that can be solved, and that’s it.” — Silke Glaab — Leadership and Executive Coach

Introduction


Welcome back to another mind-enriching episode of Startuprad.io — the podcast that guides you through the highs and lows of the entrepreneurial journey, with insights from the foremost thinkers in the startup world. I’m your host, Jörn “Joe” Menninger, and today we have a special guest beaming in from sunny Dubai, Silke Glaab, a seasoned leadership and executive coach.

In this episode, “Entrepreneur Tools: Working on Your Mindset,” we delve deep into the cerebral aspects of entrepreneurship. The pursuit of innovation is not just a physical grind; it’s a psychological game that demands mental resilience and a strategic approach to workload management. Silke is here to share her expertise on how to tame the chaos and keep your cognitive ship sailing smoothly through the treacherous waters of startup life.


We’ll explore the essential tools for your mental toolkit — discussing the art of prioritization, the benefits of visual workflow tracking, and the power of agile management with tools like Trello.


Get ready to tune into a candid conversation where I’ll reveal personal battles with scheduling and Silke will dispense strategies for small market feedback, decision-making frameworks, and cognitive bias avoidance — essential for navigating the complex startup terrain.Moreover, Silke will shed light on the significance of market proximity — why embedding yourself in the customer’s reality through prototyping and feedback loops is pivotal for success.


As if this isn’t enough to supercharge your entrepreneurial spirit, Silke is generously offering a free, dual-language workbook for our listeners. This conversation promises to be as enlightening as it is practical.But we don’t stop there. We also look at life outside the work bubble, discussing the underestimated value of breaks, workouts, socializing, and, most crucially, sleep — the bedrock of performance.


So, gear up for a transformative discussion full of real-life examples, practical advice, and tools that promise to elevate your entrepreneurial mindset. Because here at Startuprad.io, it’s not just about surviving the startup ecosystem; it’s about thriving within it. Let’s dive in!

The Importance of Downtime in Productivity: “It’s very important, and I hear it from so many people, They say they don’t have time for breaks. They’re running from one meeting to the other one. […] just take 5 minutes to ground yourself. This can be just breathing in and out, looking at your pen, be very curious about your pen, Maybe go to the window, get some fresh air.” — Silke Glaab — Leadership and Executive Coach

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Emotion and Decision Making: “So emotional decisions are made by emotions. And then with, decision making, there is a difference between, do I make the decision out of a conviction or out of an impulse?” — Silke Glaab — Leadership and Executive Coach

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Market Research and Competitive Analysis: “Develop something that’s nearly ready based on market research or whatever and test it, prototype it before you go in mass production. Of it. Yeah? Also see what your competitors are doing.” — Silke Glaab — Leadership and Executive Coach

Questions Discussed in the Interview

  1. How can entrepreneurs effectively manage the psychological stresses that come with the high workload of startup life as discussed by Silke Glaab?

  2. Silke emphasizes the importance of inviting people with different perspectives to the entrepreneurial process. How can this diversity of thought be fostered within a startup team, and what benefits does it bring?

  3. What tools and strategies does Silke suggest for avoiding common cognitive biases like the planning fallacy and overconfidence bias during the decision-making process?

  4. Jörn and Silke both stress the importance of small market feedback. What are some efficient ways for startups to collect and implement feedback during the product development phase?

  5. Silke talks about the “hello effect” in leadership. Can you provide examples from your own experience or from well-known cases where charisma overshadowed practical business decisions, and what were the consequences?

  6. Confirmation bias can lead to disastrous decisions. What are some methods for ensuring that a diverse range of data and opinions are considered when making important business decisions?

  7. Jörn speaks to the value of having team members who are willing to disagree or play devil’s advocate. What structures can be put in place within a startup to encourage constructive dissent and avoid groupthink?

  8. Silke highlights the importance of breaks and outside walks to clear the mind. How can startups build a culture that encourages healthy work-life balance practices among their teams?

  9. Given both speakers’ emphasis on structured work time and deep focus, what are some practical ways entrepreneurs can protect their schedules from the constant interruptions typical in a startup environment?

  10. Silke provides a free workbook to the audience to aid in their mindset and decision-making process. What impact do such educational resources have on the mindset of entrepreneurs, and how should one best integrate their teachings into daily routines?

Business Competition and Cost-Efficiency: “And in the end, your product may be still more expensive than your competitors. Yeah? So it’s like put a tiger, but also compare what others are are doing and gather more information gather more information.” — Silke Glaab — Leadership and Executive Coach

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Investor Bias and Decision-making: “Like an investor, and you see a very charismatic leader. He’s so positive. He’s great in really presenting the idea, and you feel really driven into it, and you want to be part of it, and then you get sometimes hooked up by the, hello effect because this person seems so sympathic, so charismatic, and you may don’t see what’s actually in the business plan.” — Silke Glaab — Leadership and Executive Coach

Our Guest


In this revealing episode of Startuprad.io, host Joe is joined by Silke Glaab (https://www.linkedin.com/in/silkeglaab/), a renowned leadership and executive coach with extensive experience in empowering business leaders to refine and harness their decision-making abilities and leadership skills. Based in the dynamic city of Dubai, a bustling hub for innovation and entrepreneurship, Silke brings a wealth of knowledge gained from her international work with executives and entrepreneurs across various industries. With a background that weaves psychological insight with hands-on business strategy, she offers a unique perspective on the mindset and tools necessary for entrepreneurial success. Her approach involves guiding leaders to prioritize effectively, manage stress, and unlock their cognitive potential to make astute decisions that propel their businesses forward.


In the episode titled “Entrepreneur Tools: Working on your mindset,” Silke delves into the psychological game of entrepreneurship — the stress, the high workload, and the cognitive biases that can impair judgment. Having observed the patterns and pitfalls that leaders commonly face, she brings forth practical strategies for agile management, including the usage of tools like Trello, and concepts such as cognitive bias awareness to sharpen one’s mental acuity in the business realm. Silke’s extensive background in cognitive psychology and leadership coaching allows her to provide listeners of Startuprad.io with actionable advice to navigate the complexities of entrepreneurial challenges and leadership decision-making. Her expertise in understanding the human mind as it relates to business success is not only timely but profoundly vital for entrepreneurs looking to thrive in competitive markets.


Silke’s Resources

Decision-Making Strategies: “So what I do nowadays, I don’t make the decision right away or, you know, also in sales, sometimes they pressure you to decide now, otherwise, you have to pay a higher amount. Joe for me, it’s always I time out, and then I let this emotion sink down, and then I clearly think about it. Yeah. Then I can also more look into the nuances of something.” — Silke Glaab — Leadership and Executive Coach

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The Interviewer

This interview was conducted by Jörn “Joe” Menninger, startup scout, founder, and host of Startuprad.io. Reach out to him:


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Automated Transcript


“Joe” Menninger [00:00:00]:Hello, and welcome, everybody. This is Joe from StartupRadio dot I o, your start up podcast YouTube blog and Internet radio station from Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, bringing you news and interviews in English. Today, we have another installment in our series of entrepreneurship tools. This will be the first video of the 2 video series together with Silke. Hey, Silke. How you doing?


Silke Glaab — Leadership and Executive Coach [00:00:29]:Hello, Joel. I’m excellent. Thank you very much.


Jörn “Joe” Menninger [00:00:32]:That is great. And my understanding is you’re currently joining us from Dubai?


Silke Glaab — Leadership and Executive Coach [00:00:37]:Yes. Yes. Springtime in Dubai becoming warmer


Jörn “Joe” Menninger [00:00:42]:now? My understanding is in Dubai, they’re 2 season, hot and very hot.


Silke Glaab — Leadership and Executive Coach [00:00:48]:No. There’s actually, like, something, like, in wintertime, it can become a little bit cold, like, 10 degrees in the evening, which is quite cold for the yeah. It it can become quite, like, chilly in the evening times. Yeah.


Jörn “Joe” Menninger [00:01:08]:For American audience, that means 50 degrees Fahrenheit, 10 degrees Celsius. Right? And, we will be talking today about making better decisions as entrepreneur. And in the first podcast interview, we will be discussing the psychological game of entrepreneurship. We already talked a lot about this before, but nonetheless, we have like, like a half a paragraph of topics we want to cover and everything else is completely free flowing. So, would you first like to introduce yourself a little bit, what you’re doing, and how we ended up here together in the recording?


Silke Glaab — Leadership and Executive Coach [00:01:50]:Yes, please. Yes. My name is Seke Glab. I’m a psychologist. I’m a leadership coach. So the combination is I focus more on the psychological side of leadership, and I also advise on performance. Yeah. And how I ended up, with you, I applied for your podcast.


Silke Glaab — Leadership and Executive Coach [00:02:11]:And we had, discussions, like, preparatory discussions to find out what your audience could benefit from.


Jörn “Joe” Menninger [00:02:22]:Yes. And you can you can attest, we’re not making shit up as we go. We do have some preparation going on here.


Silke Glaab — Leadership and Executive Coach [00:02:30]:Yes.


Jörn “Joe” Menninger [00:02:31]:Great. Do you want to talk about, today about the psychological game of entrepreneurship? I have been doing a lot, about that in, the other podcast I’m co hosting with Michelle. Menninger high five to Michelle here, in the podcast called Startupradio, which is currently paused. But, I still want to pick it up because I do understand a lot of entrepreneurs if they’re VC funded, if they’re not, if they have employees, or if they have not, if they’re freelancers or, gig workers. That doesn’t really matter, but a lot of those people are under stress in the technology sector. And we we want to talk about today some ideas, some methodologies, some approaches, how you could navigate this stress, high workload, and all the expectations coming with it. And, all all the the the the entrepreneurs right now in CLAP’s positions who are VC funded are now okay. Let’s get to the point.


Jörn “Joe” Menninger [00:03:40]:Let’s get to the point.

Silke Glaab — Leadership and Executive Coach [00:03:41]:Yeah. So let’s let’s talk about how to navigate the pressure. And, I’m quite realistic now. Yeah. Because, if you go and Google, you find all these not nice approaches what you’re supposed to do. But I also have clients who are really under pressure, especially also nowadays with all the market changes. So I try to make it really applicable for people. And the most important thing I always, discuss is your workloads and to strategize which are really, really high yielding activities and which are low yielding activities.


Silke Glaab — Leadership and Executive Coach [00:04:30]:Because you will find out if you really sit down and prioritize what you as a CEO, entrepreneur, or founder, your core things that you should do if you list them down and you list also down what other activities you’re doing, if you make that step, you will realize that you’re also doing a lot of low yielding activities. And with low yielding, I mean, they don’t contribute to your efficiency or to what you want to achieve as an organization and with you in the position as the CEO. Yes. Yeah.


Jörn “Joe” Menninger [00:05:11]:I personally have some experiences with that. For example, I used to spend, like, almost all morning in all my emails and all my social media, and then I wrote up a extensive to do list, which I never could go through in, like, one day. That’s why I tried to, set realistic expectations, and I I have to manage with the all the things going on right now around me with my family, especially with the guests, accommodate them. And so I’ve I’ve come down to, something like a to do list having 5 or 10 points for a whole week. And every time I could not go through my to do list, it really, really stressed me out. And what really actually helped me is simple tools to share content on social media to build up a backlog, like, 2, 3 times a month, getting content in there, and then simply, let it work its magic.


Silke Glaab — Leadership and Executive Coach [00:06:14]:Yes. Or nowadays, you find even virtual assistants when you’re in a CEO position, you may have meetings that are not really on your level anymore, and you spend a lot of time in meetings that are not your core, that can be done by other people too. That’s really the very, very most important, task.


Jörn “Joe” Menninger [00:06:44]:The personal experience here, because that’s also something I personally experienced because, I’m working with Calendly and in the early early days of, me being a freelancer and entrepreneur, basically, people could book all over the place. And that really did not work for me because I could never really plan my week or maybe even the day, because I was not sure when somebody would be booking something. So what I do right now, I have 2 days a week in the afternoons where people where people can book with a link I give out quite freely. That’s what people can schedule a call, and all the other times, I am either directly working for my clients or I do have slots where my clients can book. So that is something I arranged for myself in terms of meetings because otherwise you have a day with, like, 15:50 meetings in one day, you didn’t get anything done and nothing useful came out of any of them, and that is quite stressful. So I tried to reduce them personally and have only, like, 2 days where I actually do those kind of, online meetings.


Silke Glaab — Leadership and Executive Coach [00:08:00]:Yeah. And here, I want to refer back to your list. There are quite interesting tools online which are based on agile management, which is, for example, Trello. There are other apps. And here you can create, like, a list of really high priority items, and then you can move them into another column, which is then I’m working on it. And then you can move them into I’ve done it, or I put them on hold. This is really excellent to have, a visible workflow of the things that you’re doing. It’s really since I I also came across it, it’s not only you’re very conscious what kind of activities you’re even writing in, Then you move, you you choose which ones you’re working on currently.


Silke Glaab — Leadership and Executive Coach [00:08:57]:So that’s also right now there because sometimes you still have to wait for a response of someone else. You’re maybe not working in isolation, so you have put it into, currently done, but then you can see, okay, it’s still in my currently working on it because I’m still waiting for a response. And this is where you may have to follow-up. Yeah. It really gives a great overflow. And if the thing is done, you get a little bit of dopamine reward when you push the file into I’ve done it. So that’s concerning the first step.


Jörn “Joe” Menninger [00:09:37]:Do you know, there there are multiple tools you can use, like Notion, Sendkit, Monday, and so on and so forth. But what really triggers me here is when he said this this little dopamine, this little dopamine spike is you remember under list? Every time you checked off something of this to do list, bling, it gave this very awesome sound and it it it it always gave me a a a a spike. Wonderful.


Silke Glaab — Leadership and Executive Coach [00:10:07]:So this work is the Joe. If you just move it into the column of, done. So there is no blame. There is nothing. So it’s for adults. Yeah? Another one is what you said to structure already with your, Calendly, you also said focusing time. So the first and foremost, your work structure has maybe the following things, Things you really need work deeply and very focused on an issue. There’s maybe a part you have to be creative and brainstorming.


Silke Glaab — Leadership and Executive Coach [00:10:48]:Another thing that you need to follow-up all your emails, and then you have meetings and breaks. So what I always recommend is some people, they are very fresh more fresh in the Menninger, that you allocate 1 and a half hours, if possible, where you do really deep work. This means no distraction, phone aside, no phone distraction, not looking at the phone, looking really in a narrow corner because what you want to have is really a very narrow focus. And in this time, you will really see I started that maybe half a year ago that I allocate time for myself, and I know during this time, I set an alarm, 90 minutes. I have my 90 minute sprint. Sometimes I take 2 hours because it takes a little bit time to come into it. But in this time, I don’t do anything else. And this is when you’re a CEO or entrepreneur, that’s really your asset.


Silke Glaab — Leadership and Executive Coach [00:12:03]:This is when you have to go through contracts. You have to do really organize, organizational stuff. Someone told me, yeah, I even hang out a shield like a sign not to be interrupted and even you should not interrupt yourself with looking at the phone or checking your emails. And for a lot of people, this time is mostly the first part of the day before our meetings and whatever are starting.


Jörn “Joe” Menninger [00:12:36]:Then For me, personally, I I had the experience also when working a corporate job or right now, not only you should not look on your phone, but what’s also very distracting, you know, those little see through emails that pop on on the lower on the lower screen, turn off turn off your email, turn off your Menninger, your Slack, everything.


Silke Glaab — Leadership and Executive Coach [00:12:59]:Yes.


Jörn “Joe” Menninger [00:12:59]:That is very important. I I found this very good because then, as you said, you can get more done in 90 minutes than, like, in a whole day with all those distractions. But it happened to be in the beginning. Make sure she don’t have any scheduled meetings during this time because I tended to forget them. Sorry to all the people I have forgotten during that time.


Silke Glaab — Leadership and Executive Coach [00:13:24]:So that’s really so if if you manage 90 minutes, this would be great. If you manage 50 minutes, also great. But has have that really as a separate slot. Then there is time for meetings. A lot of meetings maybe not so necessary. And here I refer to agile management tools again. So they have these stand ups. You’re not even sitting up.


Glaab — Leadership and Executive Coach [00:13:55]:You have concerning a certain topic. Everybody briefly reports on what they’re working on and where there may be some hindrances that can be solved, and that’s it. If any other issues are coming up, you may schedule 1 and once to make it really efficient because some Menninger, until everybody is in a boardroom and whatever, you have already lost a lot of time. So think also about it, about stand up meetings, not sitting in a boardroom where people instead of reading through lots of emails or slacks that you just, everybody says, okay. Here I am. I’m doing this, blah blah blah, and that’s it. That’s also a very important point. Another one, I always say maybe checking on emails later in the afternoon Joe later in the morning.


Silke Glaab — Leadership and Executive Coach [00:14:56]:Sorry. When your focus is now starting to diminish, yeah, then go into email checkout and also allocate a time slot for that if possible, like 30 minutes, 45 minutes. And then maybe you have someone. Yep. Just a second. Let me finish that briefly. Maybe you have a assistant or whatever that this person can already prioritize out for you. Or I recently heard from someone that she is always when an employee puts reply, it puts reply to all.


Silke Glaab — Leadership and Executive Coach [00:15:40]:And then she, as the the leader, gets all the reply to to all messages that are not even relevant to her. So be also aware if you’re also getting emails, reply to all, and it’s not necessary for you to get them. And also allocate a time. So, Joe, please.


Jörn “Joe” Menninger [00:16:04]:Yeah. And I my personal experience is also that many people do tend to cautiously or unconsciously, allocate those focused times. I’ve I’ve seen the pattern that’s that’s not representative, but I’ve seen the pattern that many, higher level corporate employees tend to come in pretty early in the office. So there’s a good time to reach them in the office between 7 and 9 because they always show up early and they can structure the day. On the other hand, entrepreneurs, and me personally, myself, that goes well with my bio rhythm. We are more the people who come into work again after dinner. Well, for me, it’s just going to another room. And, then I can be really, really productive, and within 2 hours, I can work through a lot more than on a normal busy day.


Silke Glaab — Leadership and Executive Coach [00:16:59]:Yeah.


Jörn “Joe” Menninger [00:16:59]:That’s what I do. So Yeah. Meaning You have to find you should listen to your body as as as he said exactly what suits you. Is it the morning? Is it the afternoon? Or is it straight after lunch or soapbox?


Silke Glaab — Leadership and Executive Coach [00:17:13]:Yeah. For for some, I I doubt that for me. If you don’t eat during lunch and you do intermediate fasting, your focus maybe is still on. But after a carbo carbohydrate meal, I don’t think that you’re so focused. Yeah. So it’s very important for this one. And then there’s maybe a time of creativity, which, I mean, brainstorming time where you have to have more like a thinking. Like, the the very focus.


Silke Glaab — Leadership and Executive Coach [00:17:45]:Your focus is literally like this, and you may look at a plain wall. And if you’re in a creative mode, then your focus is really wide. It’s panoramic. You may look at all the clutter. You may look out of the window to get inspirations. And for a lot of people, that that’s somewhere in the afternoon. Yeah?


Jörn “Joe” Menninger [00:18:12]:Yeah. So that you have some

Silke Glaab — Leadership and Executive Coach [00:18:13]:time where you can, like, think about a new mythology, parts of a new product, where you don’t need to decide on something. It’s more to allow all kinds of ideas coming to the surface. And then it’s very important, and I hear it from so many people, They say they don’t have time for breaks. They’re running from one meeting to the other one. As I said, consider if you have to participate in all the meetings, have a closer look at it. It’s very important you can’t be your brain can’t be active 247. And when you’re switching task, like, from your focusing time going now into meetings or have the time for your emails, before you go into another working task, just take 5 minutes to ground yourself. This can be just breathing in and out, looking at your pen, be very curious about your pen, Maybe go to the window, get some fresh air.


Silke Glaab — Leadership and Executive Coach [00:19:29]:If you have a longer break, like 20 minutes, then you may go outside, you walk around the building just to get some sun, get some fresh air. This way is really helping you tremendously because then your brain can reset itself. And if you remember school, there was always a break in between. So between lessons, there there was, like, 5 minute break. Maybe it’s, just let time until the teacher comes or transitioning into another classroom, and this is for a reason. And after, like, 3 lessons, then there was the break for lunch. Yeah? And it’s made because we are humans. We are not, a machine that can run 247, so we have biological needs.


Glaab — Leadership and Executive Coach [00:20:24]:And our budget is our body, and it needs to be replenished. Mhmm. That is our

Jörn “Joe” Menninger [00:20:32]:life experience.


Silke Glaab — Leadership and Executive Coach [00:20:33]:How can you can structure your day.


Jörn “Joe” Menninger [00:20:37]:Personal experience for me is what I realized after working for one and a half years just in the office, just in our apartment, I realized that I was getting more and more tired. And what really helped me is after lunch, I take a walk. Something like only 20, 30 minutes. There’s a park nearby. There are some fields nearby. Just taking a walk that helps me, against, like, this this downtime you have after normal lunch. Plus, it also helps me to get out to get some fresh air and some sun, which I don’t do otherwise.


Silke Glaab — Leadership and Executive Coach [00:21:14]:Yeah. Yeah. And often you will realize when you’re walking outside, these moments of oracle are often coming. Yeah. So these moments. Yeah. Where something you had you have been had been thinking about a certain issue for a long time, and out of sudden, it all accumulates to the idea, and this comes when you’re very relaxed. Yeah.


Silke Glaab — Leadership and Executive Coach [00:21:40]:When you’re more, like, difficult thinking in that moment, it comes. Okay. So we are there with our work structure. We have the workload. Another thing is also activities. Yeah. You already said, after lunch, you go for a quick walk. That’s the easiest thing.


Silke Glaab — Leadership and Executive Coach [00:22:02]:Some people they say I don’t have time for workouts. They are these very short high intensity workouts that you can do after work. You can do it before work. If you’re not sweating too much, you can also do it during work. There are these, what what what, there’s a name. So they’re only 4 minutes. Ma. I had it in my mind.

Silke Glaab — Leadership and Executive Coach [00:22:30]:Tapeta. Tapata. Something like this. Tapata word. It will come. Okay. Yeah. So these are like


Jörn “Joe” Menninger [00:22:38]:I don’t know.

Silke Glaab — Leadership and Executive Coach [00:22:39]:4 minute workouts where you are on high intensity like for 40 seconds or 50 seconds and then you have 10 seconds downtime and then again another tapata tapata tapata workouts. It’s really really interesting. So you do this chopping, chuck and chucks. Yeah? You do other things, and they really refresh you. And it’s just done in 4 minutes. If you want to go a little bit, higher, you do 8 minutes. Tabata tabata workouts.


Jörn “Joe” Menninger [00:23:19]:What I personally do to give another perspective is especially during winter, I don’t have a treadmill. It’s it’s only made for walking. It’s like a walk mill, like, if you’ve got this thing. And I have a height adjustable table, so I pull up the table as high as possible. And in the warnings, I walk 30, 40, 50 minutes on this, treadmill just walking and reading the emails at the same time.


Silke Glaab — Leadership and Executive Coach [00:23:44]:Interesting. Be careful that you don’t fall. Yeah. So this I really That’s

Jörn “Joe” Menninger [00:23:49]:why it’s so fast.


Silke Glaab — Leadership and Executive Coach [00:23:50]:Yeah. These are great workouts. Some people, they like stretching exercises. Nowadays, you have all these apps, and they’re mostly just 12 minutes long. I I have seen so many. They they offer high intensity, yoga, Pilates, whatever. And the advantage is that they are very short, like 12 to 15 minutes, and you don’t need to go to the gym. Another thing is also meals.


Silke Glaab — Leadership and Executive Coach [00:24:22]:So I had also female entrepreneurs or the females in higher positions and they were still cooking at home. And then they wondered that they don’t have time for their kids. And then they said, I I guess you have a quite good income. This also applies for men, by the way, who are cooking at Joe, and you actually don’t have the time, but you need a nutrition nutritional meal. I guess you have a quite good income, and you could afford someone who cooks or keeps the household for you?


Jörn “Joe” Menninger [00:25:00]:Personal experience here, I I I love to cook because it’s also very relaxing for me. I I don’t do it 5 or 7 times a week. I maybe do it once or twice a week. That takes a lot of work from my wife, and I enjoy to do it with my sons even on a working day. And I mean, that that’s one of the reasons why I work from home. I can take off 30, 40, 50 minutes for cooking together with my sons, and then I’m very close to a heart attack with them. And, but it also relaxes me, and it helps them to to also understand how to cook, and it makes a nutritional meal.


Silke Glaab — Leadership and Executive Coach [00:25:39]:And for some people, for them, it’s unfortunately only stress. And then if you’re like a single there, Joe nowadays also caterers caterers who offer really healthy nutritional food delivered to your doorstep. Yeah. And you can even say what kind of diet you’re following. So that’s also some things and use then the time to socialize, meeting up with friends or like minded people. Like, if you’re an entrepreneur, maybe an entrepreneurial group, or you’re founder, like, circles of people who go through similar things and have an understanding what you’re going through. So that’s concerning all the stress and pressure someone has. And of course my top choice is sleep.


Silke Glaab — Leadership and Executive Coach [00:26:38]:Sleep is not an overrated. It’s often an underestimated target. There’s a reason why our our body needs 7 to 8 hours of sleep and high performers if they are entrepreneurs don’t Elon Elon Musk is not a role model here. But most people who are very successful, they take 7 to 8 hours of sleep. If you want to perform at your highest, then 7 to 8 hours is really a must. And there are some hacks. They are not actually biological hacks to surpass sleeping, but there are some things to make it easier for you to sleep. For example, try to get sunlight early in the morning.


Silke Glaab — Leadership and Executive Coach [00:27:32]:Okay. In Europe, in wintertime, it’s often difficult. You may have to be outside longer. For me, it’s very easy. I just have to go 7 AM 7 o’clock in the morning. The sun is already here, and I just need to look into the sun for 5 minutes, and I got my dose of sunlight. Sunlight is very important for your, circles, the wake and sleep circles. That’s number 1.


Silke Glaab — Leadership and Executive Coach [00:28:06]:Then for sleeping, try to get a mattress that really fits you because a lot of people are suffering because they don’t have the right mattress. The rooms should be cold, cold air, because if the room is too hot, your body temperature won’t get down. And during sleep, your body temperature is naturally going down, and if the room is too hot, you won’t be able to do that. You can induce it if you take a warmer shower, and this will force your body to reduce temperature. Another thing is if you’re still really overwhelmed with a lot of thoughts that start immediately if you go to bed because there are so many things still to be solved by you. Then have, like, a a journal or, like, something to to write down things, and you write your worries on a piece of paper and put it in a box. Yeah. So your subconscious knows, okay.


Silke Glaab — Leadership and Executive Coach [00:29:19]:I’m aware of what I need to solve, but, I will do it tomorrow. And you don’t forget the things you want to solve. That’s also to make a clear cut. Others, they finish with a gratitude journal. Just maybe three experiences of the day that very very positive that you learned something from it to start on a positive note. And then there’s also something like tapping. I think in in in Germany, German speaking countries, this is quite normal that you, do this tapping to regulate down your nervous system. They’re actually also tapping rituals to find sleep.


Silke Glaab — Leadership and Executive Coach [00:30:08]:Yeah. The first round would be accept myself that I have difficulties to stay asleep or to fall asleep. You go through the, the points and then you bring the positive affirmation. It’s easy for me to fall asleep. It’s easy for me to stay asleep throughout the night. That’s an easy and you can find it online. So just, look e f t e f t for sleep and then you will find very easy tools. I use that also for clients, and I recorded them, this video for them, and it actually helped them.


Jörn “Joe” Menninger [00:30:54]:For me, personally, affirmations don’t work, but what I understood pretty soon is good sleep is important. Enough sleep is important, but for me, Rachels do the job. So, basically, I get to bed, I get my headphones on, I do some meditation, and then I listen to audio books. And as you said, I also have a blank sheet of paper next next to my bed. And if I have something to do, I write it down and that kind of releases me. But I have to tell you what really makes a difference is listening to the audio books, something completely different, from business, completely different from podcasting that really helps me to come down, especially funny ones.


Silke Glaab — Leadership and Executive Coach [00:31:36]:Yeah. And and then, I also note that, to switch off Wi Fi during your sleep and don’t have any artificial light in your room. It should be really dark, and if you can’t accomplish that, have a blinder over your eyes, and really reduce any electronic things. Don’t have your mobile phone on Wi Fi next to your ears. Yeah. I I really recommend to have, like, an alarm clock and leave any electronic devices outside your bedroom. What you can also do during the day because you said, for some people maybe they start to get refreshed in the afternoon, There is something like a non sleep protocol which is called yoga nidra. So with this it normally goes like 15 or 20 minutes and you scan your body from your toes to your head to your fingers.


Silke Glaab — Leadership and Executive Coach [00:32:42]:And the well, the request is always, now go to your big thumb, thumb off your toes. No. The thumb. No. Thumb is this. Repeat to your big toe, to your big left toe and notice it and relax it. And then the first toe is relax, and you will come out of it quite refreshed without having a nap. So what some people are doing, they they nap during the day, in most cases, not possible for some companies that even has a room where people can go.


Silke Glaab — Leadership and Executive Coach [00:33:28]:And instead of really taking a deep sleep, you may want to go for this yoga Nidra and it really refreshes you and after that you may want to do more this brainstorming, divergent thinking, whatever is on your agenda. Yeah. So sleep is very important. Yeah.

Jörn “Joe” Menninger [00:33:54]:Mhmm. Totally agree here. Yeah.

Silke Glaab — Leadership and Executive Coach [00:33:59]:I could speak about, focus. I could also speak about decision making. Where where are you up to?


Jörn “Joe” Menninger [00:34:11]:I do believe decision making is a very important part for our audience. We have we have spoken about, focus quite a bit. And if there’s interest, reach out to us or comment on this video or podcast wherever you’re listening or watching this. Then, we could talk about focus again, but I I personally am more interested in decision making, making good decisions.

Silke Glaab — Leadership and Executive Coach [00:34:40]:Yeah. Okay. Yeah. So in decision making, a lot of people think we take rational decisions, which is not true. It’s a myth. Our decisions are being made also by our emotions. And there are a lot of studies about it from Antonio Damasio who had clients, and their brain function for emotions was destroyed. So they they couldn’t perceive emotions in their body anymore.


Silke Glaab — Leadership and Executive Coach [00:35:15]:And when they went for a restaurant to select what they want to eat, they were not able to do that. They could cognitively think about it, but there was no emotional drive to make the decision. So emotional decisions are made by emotions. And then with, decision making, there is a difference between, do I make the decision out of a conviction or out of an impulse? So conviction is, something I firmly hold a belief, and this belief is based on my experiences. Or I can make a decision based off an impulse because I feel like a strong urge, which is mostly unreflective to act now on it. And behind this is often a fear, a fear it could fail, a fear that I not enough for that, fear of the public opinion, and then I feel somehow stuck. Yeah. And I just want to overcome that feeling, and then I just make an impulsive decision.


Silke Glaab — Leadership and Executive Coach [00:36:41]:For me, I do a decision just not to feel what’s actually behind it. So I don’t allow that feeling to come to the surface Mhmm. And look at it and say, okay. The fear is there. What is actually the fear about? What would be the worst case scenario if that could be true? And if the worst case scenario comes through, do I have the things to handle it?


Jörn “Joe” Menninger [00:37:16]:Mhmm.


Silke Glaab — Leadership and Executive Coach [00:37:17]:And if I say, yeah, actually, even if the worst case scenario happens, I know how to handle it, and I take the, like, I know what to do, and I take then responsibility for it.


Jörn “Joe” Menninger [00:37:34]:Mhmm.


Silke Glaab — Leadership and Executive Coach [00:37:34]:And with this, I’m not ignoring why I want to make now a fast decision. Yeah. Often, it’s also pressure from stakeholders. Yeah. But then also look again why you feel pressured by that. And this is really to allow feelings to come to the surface and assess because you can still make a decision even if you realize there is a fear behind. Yeah. Because you know what to do.


Silke Glaab — Leadership and Executive Coach [00:38:09]:And if you don’t know what to do in the worst case, then now you you may have to rethink your decision.


Jörn “Joe” Menninger [00:38:16]:So that that is about the emotional influence you have, on your decision, and you have to be cautious about what emotions actually influence your decision that you can really distance yourself and understand in what framework you are doing that.

Silke Glaab — Leadership and Executive Coach [00:38:35]:And sometimes it’s not even fear. It’s maybe a body budget issue. So Lisa Feldman, Barrett, she is very famous for that. Yeah. Because she says emotions and feelings are constructed. And, with this, if you have not taken lunch, if you have not drunk any water during the whole day, you run on a low body budget, and you feel maybe irritated. And then these influence your decision making. There are some studies around judges, and they were much more negative in their judgment when they had not eaten.


Silke Glaab — Leadership and Executive Coach [00:39:23]:Mhmm. Yeah? Joe, also, the condition of your body influences you how you make a decision. Mhmm. Yeah. That’s a very important thing to distinguish if you’re doing it out of conviction or out of an impulse. And if you are new in as a StartupRadio founder, you may not have all the experiences. So on what do you base your decisions? Then to be also open up to failure, so you have a mentor or a sounding board, someone you can reflect your decision making. And, of course, they are also, I call it disaster avoidance tools that are more on the constructive side, what what you can apply to make better decisions.


Silke Glaab — Leadership and Executive Coach [00:40:17]:The first thing, as I said, is more, are you basing it on on a conviction, on your experience, or on an impulse? Now let’s go what you can do to make also to to avoid disasters. Yeah? So one thing is that you plan what I already said, plan scenarios. So I want to do that if I make the decision. What’s the best case scenario that could happen and what’s the worst case scenario? And if I have the worst case scenario, am I prepared how to deal with it?


Jörn “Joe” Menninger [00:40:59]:Mhmm.


Silke Glaab — Leadership and Executive Coach [00:41:00]:Yeah. Another one is, like, invite also other people. Often, you may be in in a board board Menninger, and people may have similar beliefs or attitudes towards an issue, to also invite people who are thinking quite differently so that you have different points on the matter. Another one is also, prototype it. Yeah. Don’t, develop the the last, the finished product. This is again from Agile Management. Be close to your customer.


Silke Glaab — Leadership and Executive Coach [00:41:42]:Develop something that’s nearly ready based on market research or whatever and test it, prototype it before you go in mass production. Of it. Yeah? Also see what your competitors are doing. So I had some months back, I had someone, Joe she she was in producing a product for houses. I don’t specify it, and they had to automate it, and so they had consultants and so they automated it in a certain way, but it was still not decided on. And then I asked her, do you know what your competitors are doing? Because she said, they lost, they have lost tenders in the last months because the other ones, they they calculated much, much lower than them. Then I said, have you ever looked how their products look like? And then she said, no. I said, but that’s maybe the first thing to see what they’re doing.


Silke Glaab — Leadership and Executive Coach [00:42:51]:Is their product maybe, there’s less material in it or other material that makes it much more cost effective before you invest now in a big automated line. And in the end, your product may be still more expensive than your competitors. Yeah? So it’s like put a tiger, but also compare what others are are doing and gather more information gather more information. And behind that, there there was also reluctant reluctancy from my client because she said we should spend already so many hours to even develop it with my team. And what you’re telling me now is that we have to, again, go back to the drawing board. I said you may want to do it. Maybe then the whole automate, automation will be cheaper, and you make sure that after all this, your product is at the same level like your competitor. Otherwise, what benefit would it have?


Jörn “Joe” Menninger [00:44:03]:For for me personally to look at what competitors are doing is also to determine the expectations, your customers or your potential customers do have from the product. What what I don’t like is especially in the creator economy, what many do. 1 talks about one topic and then everybody talks about the same topic. That is something I really avoid. That’s why I don’t listen to too many podcasts, but you always should have an expectation of what the customers expect. And they’re always, a good source is your competitor product, but also potential substitutes are pretty good to observe.


Silke Glaab — Leadership and Executive Coach [00:44:50]:Yeah. Yeah. I agree with you. So prototyping is good, Menninger out of setbacks and this diligent, thinking. And have somehow a sounding board. Have someone you can reflect because often all these things are only in your head, and you are not expressing it to anybody, maybe to your spouse, but to have someone because if you hear your words that you’re speaking out, you also create awareness what’s really going on in your head, especially if the other person is reflecting it back to you. Mhmm. Yeah.

Silke Glaab — Leadership and Executive Coach [00:45:32]:Okay. So these are, like, disaster avoidance things you can apply. And the other one are also judgment errors, called cognitive biases.


Jörn “Joe” Menninger [00:45:46]:Mhmm.


Silke Glaab — Leadership and Executive Coach [00:45:47]:And I tried to find someone some there are several of them. There are dozens of them. So I I looked for, like, 5 that could be interesting for StartupRadio. First is the planning fallacy. So you may have underestimated your time and your resources to roll out the project. That also often happens. And advice is that you, like, split it in smaller projects, be more conservative with the time, and create also a buffer because you may rely on supplies, you rely on other materials or whatever. So be more conservative with your time that you announced.


Silke Glaab — Leadership and Executive Coach [00:46:49]:That was in the like, when gas shortage came and so many other products were not available. So a lot of, especially in the construction industry, they were delayed because the material was also not there. So planning fallacy. Then there is something like sunk cost fallacy. This is that you still put resources in a project that’s already failing. And you don’t want to pull out because you said, oh, we already invest it into it. Now it doesn’t make sense. Now maybe maybe it re comes again.


Silke Glaab — Leadership and Executive Coach [00:47:35]:Maybe it comes live again, which is rarely the case. So set a benchmark when it’s really a benchmark and because benchmark can be a time, and then exit. So if you reach that bank, a benchmark, and it it has not come into fruition, exit, have an exit strategy.


Jörn “Joe” Menninger [00:48:01]:What we say in Germany is, you throw good money after bad money, meaning, you already have lost money, but you still keep pouring money in. It’s something many people do subconsciously. And if you once understand that human beings have a tendency to make this mistake. It gets easier, but not easy.


Silke Glaab — Leadership and Executive Coach [00:48:29]:Yeah. Yeah. So to have like a barrier that you don’t want to over overgo. And then we have also overconfidence bias. So you may be so convinced about the brilliance of your product that you are not seeing the signs in the market or you want to be overconfident because you and your developer team have spent already so much time on it. Yeah? And now you you think it’s really really really great and maybe the market is already telling you that other material, other designs are in and then you bring it into the market And therefore, it’s always very important to create small market, feedbacks, see what what’s going on, apply agile methods to be very close to your customers before you really roll out a product.


Jörn “Joe” Menninger [00:49:37]:Mhmm. What I personally experienced here is, especially in the startup world, you see that quite frequently for the very simple reason Somebody has the the ideal product in his or her mind. And then Yeah. They start building it and keep going at it and keep going at it. And then at one point, they realize, oh, there’s no market for it, but they burned a lot of money, a lot of lifetime, and, maybe also a lot of energy of the employees. So that that’s why we are always talking about, like, doing little testing, little experiments always have this feedback loop in there.


Silke Glaab — Leadership and Executive Coach [00:50:16]:Yeah. And there are also quite a number of, leaders who are, like, swapping very easily. So one day, the design should be like this. 2 days later is completely different. And if you have more an agile, organization, it will be not the leader to decide. It will be the customer. Yeah? And, therefore, in the very Menninger, to have a close contact to understand what the client is really looking for, what key aspects the product should have also helps you. Of course, if you have now a customer who’s changing, you need a very good, like, agile coach or product owner who is capable to talk to the client in a way that is not swapping ideas all the time because this also burns the team out.


Silke Glaab — Leadership and Executive Coach [00:51:14]:Yeah. That’s another aspect.


Jörn “Joe” Menninger [00:51:16]:For me, personally, it has always been very important to build, like, your own frame of reference to to develop your own framework. There’s a lot of interesting, things about that out there. Very popular is, for example, the notion of Jeff Bezos that a team should only be enough people to feed from 1 large pizza. Admittedly, in the US, the pizzas are a little bit bigger, but it’s don’t keep your department so big, your team Joe big, and so on and so forth. There are a lot of very interesting, very thoughtful ideas out there. Help yourself with them. Try them out if they work for you or if they feel like they match for what you’re thinking, and then you can aggregate over time and develop your own framework. I do believe that’s very, very important.


Jörn “Joe” Menninger [00:52:08]:You shouldn’t not make decisions on just blank blank sheets.


Silke Glaab — Leadership and Executive Coach [00:52:13]:Yeah. Yeah. And it’s often if you’re in this brainstorming, there is also this design thinking, mythology, where you really use the time to develop and everything is possible. You create prototypes, but then you test it again in the market. The prototypes are tested and not the whole product already. So with this, you can really stay clear and close to the market. Another one is, they are a little bit similar. The hello effect or empathy bias that, it’s with a founder or in an investor that they let’s take an investor because we have, spoken about leaders the whole time.


Silke Glaab — Leadership and Executive Coach [00:53:02]:Like an investor, and you see a very charismatic leader. He’s so positive. He’s great in really presenting the idea, and you feel really driven into it, and you want to be part of it, and then you get sometimes hooked up by the, hello effect because this person seems so sympathic, so charismatic, and you may don’t see what’s actually in the business plan. Yeah? And also here, try to have, like, a structured interview with your with the person you want to invest in, look at different perspectives, look into their business plan, use your conviction, if this makes sense for you based on your experiences, create the best and worst case scenario, and use really due diligence to to figure out. So to come from their emotion because you’re taken away by your emotion because you feel very similar to the person, and it can have even a negative aspect. If there is someone who who feels for you so unfamiliar because comes from a different country, looks different, maybe also bias you have maybe concerning gender, whatever, and then the hello effect or empathy effect can go into the other direction. Yeah. That you’re not drawn or you have your bias because it’s from wherever the person comes from or gender.


Silke Glaab — Leadership and Executive Coach [00:54:50]:And then it’s a great business plan, but you don’t even look into it because you you be pulled away that somehow you don’t feel so good with this person.


Jörn “Joe” Menninger [00:55:03]:Mhmm. Mhmm. Yeah. Like, they have a halo. Mhmm. Yep. Yeah.


Silke Glaab — Leadership and Executive Coach [00:55:09]:And a last one I would like to talk about is this, confirmation bias So that you’re looking for information that really affirms what you’re thinking, and that’s also dangerous. Yeah. So try try always to get other informations on top, make AB testing just to to find out, to avoid disasters in decision making.


Jörn “Joe” Menninger [00:55:46]:Yeah. What would always work for me, especially when I had a team, we always designated one person to be the afocados, diaboli. So meaning the person who always comes up with the worst scenarios, what could happen, what could go wrong, and it makes for a lot of interesting discussions. Nobody want to do it, so we always have to pick somebody else. But it’s very important to have, to have somebody who disagrees just in purpose, to really get the discussion going and really think about your decisions. Some of the worst decisions in my life have been taken by a team who all agreed that this was a good idea. Turned out, not always.


Silke Glaab — Leadership and Executive Coach [00:56:28]:Yeah. And for for me, it’s, when I I really liked someone or I felt like, oh, a product is so nice from a strategic point of view, or the person presented him or herself in a good way. So what I do nowadays, I don’t make the decision right away or, you know, also in sales, sometimes they pressure you decide now, otherwise, you have to pay a higher amount. Joe for me, it’s always I time out, and then I let this emotion sink down, and then I clearly think about it. Yeah. Then I can also more look into the nuances of something. This is what I have realized, what I’m doing. And another thing with this a and b testing, sometimes if you have also a very complicated customer, it’s always good not to show them 1 prototype, maybe 2 prototypes.


Silke Glaab — Leadership and Executive Coach [00:57:37]:Because then if if they have 2, they can choose for the one they more like. If you only give them 1, they can always say no, and there’s no alternative what you can show them. That’s, also with a and b testing, also a and b prototyping.


Jörn “Joe” Menninger [00:57:55]:Mhmm. I see. Yeah. That that was also very important for me to to give people alternatives. Yeah. That’s, that’s also even sometimes you you you should also offer, the services or at least if you do survey the services of a competitor to see how good you’re actually scoring against, your competitors. I do see this quite frequently in surveys I’m participating in in very large tech companies who try to score themselves against the competition. So don’t be afraid to use the competition.


Jörn “Joe” Menninger [00:58:34]:Don’t be afraid to score yourself against the competition.

Silke Glaab — Leadership and Executive Coach [00:58:37]:Yeah. Yeah. Great points. Great points. Yeah. Yeah. I agree.


Jörn “Joe” Menninger [00:58:42]:I do believe we’re running out a little bit of time circle, but fortunately, you are coming back. After Easter, we will have another recording, and, hopefully, we have much more information from you. We can relate it a little bit to real life stories from you or me, and then we should, listen to what our audience say.


Silke Glaab — Leadership and Executive Coach [00:59:07]:Yeah. I also have, like, for your audience, a free, how would I call it, a free workbook? I would and tell it. And it’s in in English and German. And here you see, like, a summary. There are also worksheets on the topics we are discussing. Maybe in the last episode, I I can see where people can find it. Or


Jörn “Joe” Menninger [00:59:35]:Or just shoot me link and wherever your listeners, wherever you’re watching this, go to our blog, and on our blog, you’ll find the link.

Silke Glaab — Leadership and Executive Coach [00:59:44]:Yeah. Yeah. That’s the easiest way because there you have also, like, case studies, very short case studies that you can relate to to the topic and then also things to work on for yourself. So it’s quite practical.


Jörn “Joe” Menninger [01:00:00]:Great. So only thing left for me to say is thank you very much. Looking forward to have you again.


Silke Glaab — Leadership and Executive Coach [01:00:06]:Thank you very much, Jan. It was really pleasure to be here. It was fun. Likewise. Thank you.


Jörn “Joe” Menninger [01:00:12]:Bye bye.



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